Khulubuse Zuma. Picture: THE TIMES
Khulubuse Zuma. Picture: THE TIMES

President Jacob Zuma’s nephew Khulubuse Zuma has taken no steps yet to oppose an application for his provisional sequestration for about R1.52bn owed to Pamodzi Gold companies although this could open up a full investigation of his financial affairs for the past eight years.

Zuma was believed to have taken up permanent residency in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Solidarity general secretary Gideon du Plessis said on Tuesday.

If the High Court in Durban grants the sequestration order on December 8, a liquidator will be appointed, who will pursue Zuma’s sequestration in the UAE.

The liquidator will have the power to interrogate all Zuma’s business dealings under section 152 of the Insolvency Act, dating back to 2009 when the company he chaired, Aurora Empowerment Systems, took over the mines of the failed Pamodzi Group.

An investigation could help to answer questions about the possible intervention in 2010 by the president of SA to help his nephew secure rights to two oil leases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, rumoured to be worth R100bn.

Zuma’s former spokesman, Vuyo Mkhize, referred questions on the sequestration to Ulrich Roux of BDK Attorneys, who acted for Zuma in 2016 in settlement negotiations with the Pamodzi liquidators.

Roux said he had not seen the application for Zuma’s sequestration and had not been asked to act for him in the matter.

The sequestration application was filed by the joint liquidators of the Pamodzi Gold companies, whose Orkney and Grootvlei mines were managed by Aurora Empowerment Systems. Zuma’s fellow directors at Aurora, who are also facing sequestration, were Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zondwa Mandela, Thulani Ngubani and Solly and Faizel Bhana.

Aurora, which had offered to buy the two mines, took over the assets after Pamodzi Gold was provisionally liquidated. However, under its stewardship the mines were stripped of all their infrastructure and workers were unpaid.

According to the affidavit filed by the joint liquidators, Zuma agreed in a settlement agreement in 2016 to pay R23m in instalments and provided a detailed inventory of his financial position, which showed debts of R15.5m and only one paid-off asset, a R200,000 Range Rover.

The liquidators said this appeared to be material misrepresentation, particularly as Zuma disclosed no source of income but was able to pay R500,000 a month under the settlement agreement until June and led a lavish lifestyle. Zuma has made no payments since August.

Du Plessis said in total Zuma had paid only R9m-R10m.

Du Plessis said none of Solidarity’s members, who had filed claims, had been paid the salary they were owed because the National Union of Mineworkers had not yet registered claims on behalf of its members formerly employed by Pamodzi-Aurora.

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